VULCANO – Glemte helter?
Rekna som det fyrste Thrash-bandet i Sør-Amerika er VULCANO sin innflytelse på Metal-scena på kontinentet der nede STOR. Bandet som debuterte i 1983 med sjutommaren "Om Pushne Namah" er sidan 2004 på føtene att med albumet "Tales From The Black Book", samt split-EP’n "Thunder Metal". I Hate Records gjer storverket med å utgjeva og re-utgjeva skiver av desse nesten gløymde heltane; i den anledning sendte eg bassist/gitarist, låtskrivar og bandets grunnleggjar Zhema ein e-post:
What inspired you to make the comeback album "Tales From The Black Book" in 2003 (Renegados Records, 2004) and then to continue with VULCANO after long periods with inactivity?
During those years stopped I always watched metal gigs and I thought to return with the band because play metal music is a part of my life. In 2000 Soto Jr. call me talking about a possible return and we did some gigs. After his death in 2001, I started to compose the songs that would became in "Tales from the Black Book", so here we are!!
Once I contacted Renegados Records to buy the album I was told it was sold out 3 years ago! Then I got the Proselytism rerelease (2007) from a shop here in Oslo, and I got really astonished due to your true-to-the-roots-Metal. Very cutting riffs, raw and primitive tracks – I like it! And Angel must have the sorest throat in South America! Now you have made a second re-release of this album on I Hate Records. How many copies will be pressed this time?
In this first edition were released something like 600 or 700 copies, but the agreed is 1.000 copies. Maybe I Hate Records will release it in vinyl format.
Renegados Records released in 2004 just 1.000 copies and Proslelytism 1.000 copies too.
The CD re-release by Proselytism contained a poster and an interview. And it is in a quite unique paper cover sized like a 7" vinyl cover, whose idea was that?
It was an idea of Proselytism. All releases from them are in that format. I confess that I also was much surprised with that format. I must also say that I have luck to work with those three labels Renegados, Proselytism and I Hate, because they are concerned to do good work with the band and not to make big profits.
It’s not the first time the Swedish label I Hate have before put out your Metal; why did you choose them, a label so far from Brazil? Are you still working with Renegados back home?
The boss of Cogumelo Records, João Eduardo, told me about Peter from I Hate and I did get in contact with him. Later I sent him some stuff and he stayed interested to release "Anthropohagy".
Renegados is broken because, like I said, they do not seek for money. So it was impossible to keep the business.
The line-up changed between "Tales From The Black Book" and the magnificent "Thunder Metal" split CDEP with NIFELHEIM (I Hate Records, 2006); with you, vocalist Angel and bassist Carlos Diaz being the stable core. What is the present line-up?
Nowadays we are stable with Zhema, Angel and Carlos Diaz. When we play alive, we have support of Arthur and Fernando from CHEMICAL DISASTER
On "Tales…" Carli Cooper contributed much on the lyrics, who is he?
His is the master of my class and my co-writer in the albums "Live!", "Bloody Vengeance" and "Tales from the Black Book" and nowadays we are writing the themes of a new album.
Sometimes dirty sounding Metal bands, like Swedish acts PAGAN RITES and NIFELHEIM get the tag Black Metal, this count also for VULACNO in some Internet pages, shops and so on. What do you think about that, do you regard yourself being Black Metal?
No, I think VULCANO is a Death Metal band that do not abuse of guttural voices and low tuning. We tune instruments on natural A 440Hz and Angel do not abuse of guttural, yet we have much approach of rock’n’roll, but our themes are into the black metal style.
I want to go back and speak about the "old days": You are the first extreme Metal act from South America. When, exactly, will you say VULCANO was born? Where you in any band before that was just as extreme Metal as VULCANO?
I played in some rock’n’roll bands in 78/80. VULCANO was born after ASTAROTH in 81 and in those years we play a hard rock mixed heavy metal. I think VULCANO was born in 84 when we change our style to become more raw and brutal.
Your debut release, the "Om Pushne Namah" 7" EP came as early as in 1983. What bands inspired VULCANO?
We tried to do something like BLACK SABBATH, but we didn’t get it, because we didn’t know how to do it and here in Brazil didn’t exist good equipments.
Many extreme bands have later emerged from South America. How was the feeling of what you were doing at that early stage of VULCANOS career? Did you feel as a band breaking ground for others to come? How was the support on that time, from concert promoters, labels, fans?
In the beginning there was no promoters or labels, each band did its own gigs and some times we joined our equipments and we produced our own gigs. The scene happened just in our area. For example, I bought my own backline and P.A system and I recorded our first single when all of peoples thought, that crazy! So I think VULCANO was very important for the others band.
Inside of the cover of The "Anthropophagy"/"Devil On My Roof" CD re-release shows a poster from a concert where you seemingly were the headliner of 5 bands, one of the other bands being SEPULTURA… it is really cool to watch now in 2009. What do you think about that concert today? Thinking about that SEPULTURA have strayed so far off…
VULCANO was headline of many festivals in 85/86, but we never seek for fame or fortune. We did our lyrics and played our songs unprovided of make success. We did not do anything to get attention of the media or managers.
Your debut album was a live album, why did you put out "Live" (1987) before "Bloody Venegeance" (1986)?
The LIVE! album was released in 85, Bloody Vengeance was released in 87.
(Beklagar, vyrde lesarar, eg skal skjerpa meg på korrekturlesing. Fekk svar som fortent… -intervjuar anm.)
Will your debut, the 7" be rereleased some time? Do you have plans about making any other vinyl releases of your material?
I think that single belongs to the past and it does not represent VULCANO nowadays. I Hate Records said something about re-releasing "Tales from the Black Book" in vinyl version.
Even though you made gigs later, and also the album "Ratrace" (1990), you split in 1988, as far as I am informed; what was the reason that you split?
I was very disappointed with the Brazilian scene in that time. Many bands changed their style to fancy music, false media, promoters looking for earn profits, false metaliers dressing fancy clothes, crossover with hardcore music, etc. I did not like that!
I want to speak a little about the Brazilian extreme Metal scene:
Also the early works of SEPULTURA, SARCÓFAGO and MYSTIFIER are truly extreme primitive art to me! And even newer Brazilian bands I have experienced, like APOKALYPTIC RAIDS and WARDEATH seem to have this certain basic extreme Metal inspiration. Would you say that bands from Brazil and South America have conserved the primitiveness in their style more than North American and European bands? The last AURA NOIR album has a song called "South American Death"…
It is very hard to explain. I think the Brazilian’s head bangers are much more into the hard and raw metal music. We like to play our own style in metal music.
How do you regard the scene in Brazil and its surrounded countries nowadays, are there many bands with the same old school feeling as Vulcano, being it Thrash, Death or Black Metal? Name dropping, please…
Yeah, almost all of the bands currently in the scene play old school metal, like FLAGELADOR, APOKALYPTIC RAIDS, MAUSOLEUM, INFECTOR, PREDATORY… and many more. I think 50% of the Brazilian bands are into that style.
About VULCANO again:
Being still an underground act in this decade, do you regard that as a benefit for you – thinking of your raw sounding, especially on "Tales From The Black Book", but also on "Thunder Metal", or does it just limit your abilities to get the recording conditions you should wish you’d have?
I never tried to enter the mainstream, because I was born in the underground scene and learned to write songs that way. I really like this kind of music. When I’m finishing the production of the new album, I am very careful that it does not sound very pasteurized (such as album of the bands today) because I do not like the sound pasteurized and compressed. I think the recordings of VULCANO are more honest. Moreover, this is my lifestyle and my hobby, for income to my family, I have my job.
Thrash Metal seemed to have some kind of revival this decade with many of the 80s band coming back with reunions or with more explicit old school Thrash in their expression: DESTRUCTION, KREATOR, DEATH ANGEL and so on. Why is it so, you think; why did Thrash come back after the low period in the 90s?
I think the Death / Thrash Metal played in the 80s and beginning of 90 is much more pleasant to listen. It is the Death / Thrash Metal original and genuine, simple but with more energy, total head banging !!
There are 3 years since your last release now… what about the future? Gigs, tours, albums?
We finished our new album called "Five Skulls and One Chalice" and it’ll be released in mars. Now we will go to work to reveal it and start to tour here in Brazil.
Is there any chance of seeing you live in Norway, or at least in Scandinavia?
I would like to play some gigs there in Europe, but until now we didn’t have any promoter interested. After the releasing of "Five Skulls and One Chalice" I will work to make that tour possible. I know that if I can’t get to happen until next June, we have to wait till 2010, sorry!
Thank you very much, Zhema for this interview!
Obrigado! (in Portuguese) Thank you for opportunity to spread VULCANO’s ideas and greetings for the readers of Eternal Terror.
Hail The Thunder Metal!